In March 2017, Haggart had sexual intercourse with 15-year-old “AN,” after the two met on Tinder. Haggart denied knowing who AN was during an investigation conducted by the Air Force. Sometime after, Haggart began a non-physical relationship with another minor, “AW.” Haggart’s commander issued orders directing Haggart to have no contact with AW. However, Haggart disobeyed and communicated with AW through his friend via email. Haggart was confined in the Bibb County Jail for 55 days before being transferred. A Military judge found Haggart guilty of one specification of false official statement, one specification of failure to obey a lawful order, and one specification of sexual assault of a child, in violation of 10 U.S.C. §§ 892, 907, 920b.
Haggart raises three issues on appeal: (1) whether the military judge abused her discretion by refusing to admit evidence of other sexual behavior by AN; (2) whether the military judge abused her discretion when she permitted AW to testify while wearing a high school softball uniform; and (3) whether the conditions of Haggart’s post-trial confinement were cruel and unusual under the Eighth Amendment and 10 U.S.C. § 855.
(1) Mil. R. Evid. 412
Haggart moved to admit evidence of sexual behavior by AN with other adult men, arguing it was constitutionally required in order to demonstrate AN misrepresented herself as being 18 years old. Under Mil. R. Evid. 412(b)(1)(C), evidence of other sexual behavior by an alleged victim is constitutionally required and “must be admitted...when it is relevant, material, and [its] probative value...outweighs the dangers of unfair prejudice.” United States v. Ellerbrock, 70 M.J. 314, 317 (C.A.A.F. 2011). The Court found that the fact other adult men may have engaged in sexual intercourse with AN did not negate Haggart’s blameworthiness.
(2) AW’s Softball Uniform
Haggart argued that the military judge abused her discretion by allowing AW to testify in her softball uniform because it highlighted her age which was not to be considered. Under R.C.M. 801(a)(2), (3), “The military judge may...prescribe the manner...in which the proceedings may take place.” “The military judge should prevent unnecessary waste of time and promote the ascertainment of truth.” Id.
The Court found that the military judge “plainly” did have a reason to admit AW to testify in her uniform—to avoid wasting time. The uniform did not affect the substance of her testimony nor did it interfere with the ascertainment of truth.
Haggart’s clemency memorandum complained about his confinement’s conditions (including the claim that "in 55 days he was allowed to shower only five times and allowed to change clothes only four times"), but his testimony conflicts with that of “JL,” a lieutenant assigned to the Bibb County Jail (who clarified that inmates receive three showers a week). The Court found that Haggart failed to demonstrate a violation of the Eighth Amendment or Article 55, UCMJ, under United States v. Lovett, 63 M.J. 211, 215 (C.A.A.F. 2006). The Court stated that even if Haggart’s testimony was correct, the conditions described were not so severe as to constitute a denial of necessities.
Affirmed. Approved sentence: dishonorable discharge, confinement for 6 months, forfeiture of all pay/allowances, reduction to E-1 and a reprimand.
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